In the past few weeks, we have done several guides of the city’s markets on fresh produce, fabric, pottery and houseplants. While Thanksgiving and Christmas are on the way, we look into the capital’s antique finds – paintings, carving, sculpture, ancient currency, table lamp and more – that would make special gifts and artistic home décor.
Panjiayuan Antique Market潘家园旧货市场
If you have been in Beijing for a while, you will have heard about Panjiayuan Antique Market, no matter whether you are interested in antiques or not. The mother of all antique markets hosts over 3,000 dealers, offering all kinds of vintage finds and reproductions: Chinese calligraphy, painting, ivory carving, porcelain vases, ancient furniture and more. Every day, countless local and international visitors came here to look for treasures. But if you are not an artifact expert, the best thing to do is to go with an open mind and a limited budget. You will feel like you’re walking around a museum.
Mon-Fri 8.30am-6pm, Sat-Sun 4.30am-6pm. West of Panjiayuan Qiao, Chaoyang District (6775 2405) 朝阳区潘家园桥西边
This 750-meter long strip south of Hepingmen in Xuanwu District was once known as a Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) gathering point for poets and scholars. Today, this antique strip full of small shops on each side still embodies the personality of ancient Chinese culture and arts. If you have an interest in Chinese calligraphy, this is the best place to shop for wenfang sibao, the scholar’s four treasures (writing brush, ink stick, ink slab and paper), which you can find in almost every shop.
Daily 10am-6pm (for most shops). Liulichang, Hepingmenwai, Xuanwu District宣武区和平门外琉璃厂古文化街
Beijing Curio City北京古玩城
This four-story antique mall organizes its different collections well and is conveniently located at the southeast corner of subway line 10. It is a good place to stock up on some smaller decorative pieces like teapots, cravings, Buddhist statues, paintings to ginger up your home décor for the holidays.
Daily 10am-6pm. 21 Dongsanhuan Nanlu, Chaoyang District (6774 7711) 朝阳区东三环南路21号
Baoguo Temple Culture Market报国寺文化市场
Locating inside Baoguo Temple, this place is a smaller version of Panjiayuan Antique Market that features more local Beijing buyers and visitors. You can find ancient Chinese paper money and coins, stamps, and comic books here among other antique collections which can work well as souvenirs for children. Different from other markets, this place is most bustling on Thursdays, when you can spot more traders and buyers than usual.
Daily 7.30am-4.30pm. 1 Guanganmen Nei Dajie, Xicheng district (6301 4827) 西城区广安门内大街报国寺1号
Gaobeidian Antique Furniture Street高碑店明清家具一条街
This famous antique furniture market in Beijing overflows with reproductions of Ming and Qing furniture: opium beds, traditional tables, stools, benches, stools, and drums, just to name a few. On top of vintage furniture, it also offers decorations, ceramics, and modern furniture made from old wood. Many shops here have showroom in front and the workshop in back, and the merchants can custom-build whatever you cannot find in stock.
Daily 8am-10pm (business hours can vary from different stores). Outside Dongsihuan, turn right at the Gaobeidian exit of the Jingtong expressway then drive south, Chaoyang District 朝阳区东四环外京通快速路高碑店出口处出来右转往南走
Photo by IvanWalsh.com (Flickr)